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How to Keep Your Wrestling Bag Clean

A smelly wrestling bag is nasty.  The smell can knock a person out.

My son came home from college over the holidays and brought both of his wrestling bags.  They smelled like dirty socks, rotten food, and sweat combined.  We washed his bags, but they still stunk.  I realized that his bags were going to require some extra work.

I had forgotten how bad a wrestling bag can smell until my son came home.  It reminded me of my wrestling days.  Looking back, I realized how many germs were in my bag, and I'm surprised I never got sick from the wrestling bag.

Today, I would like to talks about how to keep your wrestling bags clean and odor-free.

how to keep wrestling bag clean

Your Wrestling Bag Might Make You Sick

Dirty wrestling bags could make you sick.  I read several articles that said that a dirty gym bag contains the same bacteria that is in feces.  I don't know if that is true or not, but based on the stench, I would make the assumption that your gym back is full of harmful bacteria.

Even if the bacteria doesn't make you sick, there is a good chance that your bag might be carrying a virus that can lead to pneumonia, flu, or cold infections.

My son definitely didn't keep his bag clean.  If you are one of those wrestlers that never clean their bag and wears work out clothes numerous times before they are washed, then this article is for you.  If you have been ill lately, you might want to take a look at your wrestling bag.

10 Simple (But Important) Tips to Keep Wrestling Bags Clean and Odor-Free

1.  Wash Bag Regularly

One of the best ways to keep your bag smelling good and clean is to wash your gym bag on a regular basis.  I would recommend that you clean your bag at a minimum of once a month.  If you sweat a lot in practice, I would suggest you wash your bag once a week.

Most wrestling bags can be washed in the washing machine.  To prevent tearing straps, drawstrings, or pockets, you should put your bag in a pillow case or a mesh laundry bag.

If you have a bag that can't be machine washed, then you will need to wipe it down with hot water and a little bit of soap.  After you clean the inside and out, you can use antiseptic wipes on the bag.

Once the bag has been washed, make sure and allow the bag to air dry overnight.

2.  Use Disinfectant

One of the primary reasons for the stench in your bag is because the bacteria are eating the sweat, dead skin, etc. from your clothes and gear.  The smell is from the waste from the bacteria.  As a wrestler, Lysol should be your method to prevent skin infection.

I would recommend using Lysol on the inside and outside of the bag.  Make sure that the bag is empty when you spray it.

3.  Put Sweaty Clothes in a Bag

One of the most significant sources of the bad smell is your workout clothes.  It's normal for a wrestlers workout clothes to be drenched in sweat and blood.  You should put those clothes in a plastic bag or an anti-bacterial bag.  This will allow you to bring your clothes home to be washed without getting the sweat all over your bag.

4.  Wash Workout Clothes After Each Practice

You should never wear the same workout clothes twice without washing them.  Wearing the same clothes without washing them will open the door to skin infections.  If you leave the clothes in the bag, those workout clothes will stink to high heaven.  Even if you don't immediately wash the clothes, you should hang them up to air dry.

Workout clothes should be washed in hot water to kill germs and fungus that can cause skin infections.

5.  Remove Food from Your Wrestling Bag

Ever seen how food will rot after a couple of days? Now imagine that food in your wrestling bag.  You will have trillions of harmful bacteria in your bag just waiting to make you sick.

I know that wrestlers routinely put food in their bag when they go to competitions.  That is fine, but you need to keep the food separate.  At the end of the day, you should throw away any food that will go bad and put any unopened food back in the cabinet when you get home.

6.  Keep Your Bag Odor-Free

I read a great article on purewow.com that talks about the 6 Tricks to Keep Your Gym Bag Fresh.  It talks about using some products like tea bags, dryer sheets, and antiseptic wipes as to absorb odors.

I also found a product called SMELLEZE that is eco-friendly and is supposed to absorb odors.  I have never tried this odor absorber, but I read a lot of good stuff about it.  I found other products that will also absorb odors.  I may write an article specific to odor absorbers at a later time.

I found a great video about using odor absorbers in your wrestling bag.

7.  Don't Forget to Clean Your Gear

You have cleaned your bag and your clothes.  You also need to clean or disinfect your gear.  I would recommend Lysol on both your shoes, headgear and your water bottle.

Don't forget to wipe down your cell phone and headphones.  Your electronics already have a bunch of bacteria.  Imagine what is on your gear if you put it in your bag.

I'm not sure how much cleaning your gear will help prevent the funky smell, but since your cleaning your bag, you might as well clean your equipment too.

8.  Keep Personal Care Products Separated

You want to keep your product in their own bag.  Eagle Creek wrote an article called Six Rules for Protecting Your Gym Bag from Bacteria.  The report says to store your deodorant, shampoo, lotion, soap, toothbrush etc. in a water-resistant bag so that you are not accidentally spreading bacteria on your body.

Additional Reading

While doing my research, I came across several sites that provided some great information.  Here are the websites I visited to gather information and write the article:

5 Tricks to Keep Your Gym Bag Smelling Fresh - Tips for you to use when it comes to the deodorization of your smelly gym bag

Blackman Wrestling has a bunch of great tips on hygiene.

The Spruce wrote a good article on how to clean and disinfect a gym bag.

Thanks for Reading

I enjoyed writing this article on keeping your wrestling bags clean.  I hope I provided you with some useful information.

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